Can I get my child support payments reduced?

Years ago, when you were going through your divorce, you agreed to pay a certain amount of money for child support. There was no argument – financially supporting your children was a no-brainer. The courts determined the amount based on the standard calculations. You’ve never missed a payment, and you’ve never felt resentful about paying it. You love your kids, and they deserve it.

Recently, though, you’ve found yourself under different circumstances. The company you’d been with for your entire career restructured, and your position was eliminated. After some time spent without a job, you finally found one – but the salary is nowhere near what you were making previously. The last thing you want to do is take money away from your children, but you can’t afford to make ends meet right now.

What are your options?

You can pursue a child support order modification. Modifying child support orders can be challenging. The courts will require a substantial change in circumstances in order to modify the original order. These changes would include:

  • Income
  • Debts
  • Medical expenses

In your situation, a job loss and significant salary cut would likely warrant a modification.

What do you need to do?

It’s important to take action as quickly as possible to document the changes. The ideal time would be as soon as you lost your job. But it’s not too late. Being prepared with all documentation – pay stubs, bank statements, a termination letter – will help things progress more quickly.

Moving forward

Life changes. You didn’t plan for any of this to happen, but here you are. Life will likely change again, and next time, the pendulum might swing the other way. At that point, you can modify your support payments again.

By relieving some financial stress now, you will gain some peace of mind. That will help give you the ability to be the best dad you can be.

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